Law and Order: Special Community Walk
Mt. Airy Estates HOA Inc. of Clinton holds walk event to connect with, get to know local officers
Promoting neighborly relations while connecting and fellowshipping with local police officers, the Mt. Airy Estates Homeowners Association Inc., in partnership with the Prince George’s County Police Department, held a communi- ty walk Aug. 11 on the Mt. Airy Estates Preserves side of Woodyard Road and Hunter Drive in Clinton.
About 30 residents and officers from the District V Police Station participated in the walk led by Association President Karren Torres, Board of Directors Vice President Ernest Canlas, District V Commander Maj. Crandall A. Weaver and District V Assistant Commander Capt. Cedric A. Dickerson.
“This is our second annual community walk,” said Torres as she walked with the group. “The purpose of it is for the community within Clinton to come together with the law enforcement to show that we are one unit.”
Torres, who has lived in the area for the last 14 years, said one of the nice things about Clinton is that it is a small, close-knit community which promotes
rapport and togetherness.
Thanks to the District V Coffee Club that meets once a week, Torres gained inspiration for the community walk and helped start it last year. It has been well-received so far with just as many participants this year, she said.
“I think it really helps in the sense of we all get busy with our lives and we forget to know who our neighbors are,” Torres said. “This is just reinforcing that, ‘It’s OK. You want to know your neighbor. You want to look out for your neighbor. We are our brother’s keeper.’ We need to get back to that because now with things getting as rough as they are, we just have to be able to look out for each other.”
“It’s a good thing for the neighbors and for the citizens to see,” Dickerson said. “They know that we have a partnership so that’s going to make them less likely to try and victimize your community, I think. And it helps us develop relationships because we’re out here in the community.”
Having worked in other districts, Dickerson said he really doesn’t see as much community involvement like there is in Clinton. It certainly helps in terms of promoting good community-police relations, especially in today’s time, he said.
“I feel that a police department is only as strong as the folks that live in the neighborhood they cover in their districts,” said Canlas, who helped bring the community walk and neighborhoods watch program to fruition during his first term on Mt. Airy’s HOA board in 2015. “If you don’t have cooperation with the citizens in the neighborhoods, then you got friction between the neighborhoods and the police department. No one knows each other and that’s not cohesiveness.”
For Weaver, the walk is just another opportunity for officers to strengthen their relationship with the community. District V is an engaged community so it’s always a good feeling when law enforcement can come out and do things with residents throughout the year, Weaver said.
“The more and more people that come out, the better it is,” said Weaver. “It’s big for me because this is home. My family’s here — my parents are still here, my siblings are here and my nieces and nephews. So it’s important because we have an engaged community and everyone takes a part in the safety and well-being of the community. That’s huge. The police can only do so much but when you can get everybody out here and everybody to take ownership, it’s a better situation. It’s significant.”
District V Assistant Commander Capt. Cedric A. Dickerson speaks with Mt. Airy Estates Homeowners Association President Karren Torres as her husband, Javier, walks beside her. About 30 residents participated in the Mt. Airy Estates HOA’s community walk...
Mt. Airy Estates Home Owners Association President Karren Torres leads a group circle in front of her home as officers and residents introduce themselves just before a community walk Aug. 11 on the Mt. Airy Estates Preserves side of Woodyard Road and...